ELIZABETH PETERS – The Copenhagen Connection. Congdon & Lattes, hardcover, 1982.  St. Martin’s Press, paperback, 19Critics Choice, paperback, 1985.  Tor, paperback, 1990.  Warner, paperback, 1994.  Avon, paperback, 2001.

   What happens when a female publicist working for a large New York City publisher accidentally meets one of her firm’s most profitable authors while traveling alone on a vacation trip to Denmark? Elizabeth Jones is the one alone, that is; the author is Nobel Prizewinning historian Margaret Rosenberg, and she is traveling withher son, Christian.

   Should I add that Margaret Rosenberg is, let us say, eccentric? On page 36, Christian himself calls her looney. Bonkers. On her end, by page 81 Elizabeth is still thinking of Christian as a pompous snob. She is also, by this time, in their employ, their previous secretary having been disabled in a mysterious accident with a large, heavy trunk at the airport.

   And Margaret herself has disappeared by this time, and soon after comes a demand for ransom. And what do the kidnappers want but Margaret’s bathrobe. While it might not
sound like much, and truth to say, this is about all the plot there is. And yet, this book is still compulsively good reading, and funny too, in case you hadn’t surmised as much.

   But let me go back to that first paragraph. [WARNING: Small plot alert.] Here’s the answer. In spite of first impressions, totally unfavorable on each side, but (apparently) due to their constant proximity in the calamities that follow, Elizabeth and Christian fall in love.

   Gee. You could have hit me with a two-by-four, and I couldn’t have been more surprised.  (Picture Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas in their respective roles, if you will, and maybe Margaret Rutherford as the ditsy old lady, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what’s going on here.)

   Incidentally — small question — in the closing scenes there promises to be more adventures ahead for Elizabeth and her new companions, but so far as I know, none have been forthcoming. Am I right, or have I missed something?

– Slightly revised from Mystery*File 26, December 1990.